Project Detail: Boulevard ValiAsr - The Pulse of Iran


LuganoPhotoDays 2018




Ghomorlou Basim


Project Info

Boulevard ValiAsr - The Pulse of Iran

Boulevard ValiAsr stretches from the rich North of Tehran 20km to the poor South of Iran's capital. Walking this Boulevard you see and experience every facets of today's Iran: multi-millionaires, street worker, bazaris, child labour, young intelligenzia, religious fanatics, artists... You see love, struggle, ambition, desperation, tradition and modernity. You see Iran's heart beating.

This comprehensive documentation is one of its kind since I am an experienced Iranian photographer and traveller who understands and depicts Iran's real concerns and upcoming social developments in a fast pacing world. ValiAsr 10 years ago was not the same as today and will not be the same 10 years from now. This is worth documenting.

There are some type of people who interest the photographer the most: children, street hawkers and musicians.

Children: Iran’s future. Child labour is part of Iran’s reality, just as shopping sprees for 7 year olds are. What are Iran’s children raised to shape their future with? Do they work or shop on ValiAsr?

Musicians: Symbols of Iran’s reformative power. A young man playing Frank Sinatra with his trumpet in the streets. Nobody can stop him… And if somebody does, his friend around the corner continues with his guitar. What makes them keep going?

Street hawkers: Symbols of Iran’s creative power to survive during hard conditions. There is nothing you can’t find in the hands of a street vendor: from fortune telling and poems, newspapers and coins from the Shah times, to forbidden books. However, their jobs are far from romantic, but hard work that demands all their mental, emotional and physical power. How are they holding up?

Boulevard ValiAsr is the reflection of the huge gap between the rich and the poor in Iran. This aspect will be worked on in this documentary.

In this project, the photographer focus on street photography and social documentary. It is important to me to switch between techniques in order to create the effect of either being part of a scene and familiar with the people, or experiencing the quite distance of an attentive observer.

This selected portfolio covers parts of the centre and South of ValiAsr and will be completed by the North and more contrasting impressions of the different lifestyles the melt seamless into this Boulevard.